The following is a message that we have received from Karen Hott, Class of 2018 Sponsor, from Costa Rica. She asked that we share it with you!

Thanks for your prayers. Two of the seniors, Hadlee Chubb and Chiren Moore, departed today to join the Atoms Family Robotics Team heading to their State Championship. I went with Hadlee and Chiren through check-in at the airport and watched them go through security and on to the gates until I couldn’t see them anymore. I’m proud of them. No problems PTL. The van driver brought me to the hotel where I can finally write a bit and catch you up on our travels.

The first day was a long day of traveling but the kids had fun all the way… this group LOVES to have fun together. Our flight attendant performed a rap for us for flying Southwest, Gavin and Max greeted flyers over the intercom, and Phillip and Evan got a lengthy tour of the cockpit because it was their first flight! And yes, we handed out candy to the passengers who had seats among us.

Monday’s white water rafting provided another opportunity for fun times. One of the guides couldn’t tell me enough about how fun our group was. Everyone had a great time. We saw the iguana farm on the way to our hotel. The hotel gardens are a beautiful jungle. And we celebrated Lauren’s birthday with cake (parents sent along) candles and balloons. Ending each day with devotions and “ Words of Life” has been instrumental in setting a good tone for our time together.

The next two days were the highlight of the trip. This time the group invented fun ways to carry cinder blocks, paint huge walls, power wash portions of the church…(big jobs in hot humid tropics) ….taking breaks to crack open coconuts, catch geckos, frogs, and a snake, observe leaf cutter ants and avoid biting ants, hang around with sloths and encourage each other … one encouragement produced a race which ended in our only injury so far. Mrs. Mitchell sustained the superficial injury during a cinder block race.

Playing with the Costa Rican kids was the best part of each day. Our kids couldn’t get enough. They joined them in soccer, tag, chalk drawings, bracelet-making, and lots of conversation and laughter. We delivered gifts to the orphanage and painted several walls and walkways until the paint ran out. It was so hard to leave the 18 at the orphanage, the 100 school children, and the 250+ people of neighborhood families at the park.

That evening at the hot springs proved to be a challenge for our group to maintain a calm and relaxing atmosphere… remember, this group LOVES to have fun! Smiles all around!

That brings us to today. The rest of the group is zip-lining, hiking to the waterfall, traveling here to San Jose with a stop for some souvenir shopping. I’m looking forward to their tales plus a souvenir show & tell when they show up at the hotel later tonight.

We are off to the Pacific tomorrow and then we head back to Detroit in about 48 hours. They have done so much! The food has been great and the good times have been full of good-natured fun for everyone!

We thank the Lord for the kids and the joy they have given others!

So for now, Pura Vida from Costa Rica!
Karen